The Good Mom

Where Moms Fail (Confession Time)

I hate (HATE) to use the word fail. But can’t think of a better one. This has been burning a hole right through me lately.

Every time I utter the 2 words–“I’m fine”–when I’m really not…I fail.

I fail you because I’m lying. I fail my family because they’re getting fragments. I fail God because I’m relying on my own strength.

You know what the kids get most days…me. Like…FULL–ON–ME.

I’m mentally counting the minutes I spend with each kid, making sure they get equal “Mom time.” I’m stressing out if it’s near dinnertime, and we haven’t read a single book. I’m beating myself up over sunny days we’ve spent inside.

And this blog is titled bumps, bruises, and GRACE.

Sigh…still so far to go.

God’s grace seems big enough for my kids. It seems big enough for my marriage. But often it seems too small for me.

Y’all…lots of days…I’m just not fine. I’m really not. I’m meeting needs on the second all  while trying to live simply and be still.

I’m offering grace to others but not letting it spill over onto me.

Father, forgive me. I admit that I easily swing back toward works-righteousness instead of grace. I confess that lots of days I consider you my Savior but not my friend. I’m tempted to make You a thing I do instead of a relationship I bask in. Be my strength. In your beautiful grace, redeem these bumps and bruises.

Friends…let’s be fine with not being fine. Christ came for “not fine” people. He uses “not fine” people.

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

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“What is your goal in parenting?”

I stood outside our bedroom door with my head resting on the trim.

Jeremy listened. “Mom comparison” comes fast. And hard. And I’d just laid a week’s worth of “what if I’m doing so and so wrong” squarely on his shoulders.

“What is your goal in parenting?”

That’s what he asked me. We’d talked about this before. Again. And Again. And again.

“That our kids would love God supremely.”

It was simple. But easy to lose sight of in the day to day crazy. And easily forgotten as I compare myself to “her” and “them.”

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 4)

No greater joy than to know that the 5 who call me Mom are walking in His ways.

It’s not about how they’re doing in soccer. Or the number of words they can read per minute. It’s not measured by the time I do or don’t allow them to play video games. Or how clean they keep their rooms.

No. Walking in the truth is what brings me joy. It’s what will give them joy. Through every day ahead of them.

And it’s what we’ve got to live for. To put our efforts toward. To consider most important.

For them. For us. For a hurting world.

“Love God supremely.”

I’ll fail. So will they. But there’s grace upon grace upon grace.

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“You’re Worth Fighting For”

He had yelled at me. Literally raised his voice in anger. I was shocked. What is happening?

We went inside to talk.

Maybe I went too far.

“Do you realize how much I’ve given up for you? Do you realize that I’m here-at home-every day for you? Do you realize that I’ve given up EVERY ONE of my childhood dreams to stay home? I wash your clothes…clothes I don’t wear. I cook your food…food I don’t eat. My whole life is spent serving you. How dare you yell at me?”

And maybe I was starting to yell myself.

Then it hit me like a tidal wave…in the middle of my rant.

“But you are worth it. You are worth giving up everything for. Why? Because Christ gave it all up for you.”

Did those words actually come from my angry lips? Maybe there is such a thing as grace.

“I will keep fighting for your heart, because Jesus says you’re worth it. I’ll keep fighting sin, because Jesus says I’m worth it.”

There is discipline. I’ve punished him for yelling. But I’ve also realized something…

Our kids are worth fighting for because Jesus fought for us.

We fight as people who were fought for. We love as the beloved.

Press on fellow heart-fighters. He is gracious.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4,5)

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Flexing or Fighting?

I’ll often ask myself when disciplining our kids, “Am I flexing my muscles or fighting for their heart?”

When things seem crazy, and I feel like I’ve lost any semblance of control in this house, I’m more tempted to flex.

Because I can make them obey with my threats. And I can feel in control again.

Or when time is short because of the demands of other kids, I’m tempted to flex. Fighting for the heart takes time. And well, sometimes it seems like I don’t have it.

“The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children.” (Shepherding a Child’s Heart)

Could the most important thing I do today not be great meals or read books or neatly written spelling words? Could the most important thing today be tending to their souls? Could it be listening?  Could it be unscheduled?

Christ came to fight for my heart. He could have “flexed.” He could have stopped Calvary in a second. But He didn’t. He stayed the course.

And even now He’s faithful. He’s patient. He shepherds me.

We fight because we’ve been fought for.

Maybe today fighting for their hearts will feel a little more like grace.

” You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

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January has become treehouse building weather!

 

Ordinary Could Be Ordained

We’re reading “Jack’s Insects” for Science. This…

“…for one of the things that collecting does for one is to make one think that beautiful common things are less worth looking at than much less beautiful ones that are rare–there are some collectors, in fact, who go even further and think nothing beautiful that is common.”

That’s me. I’ve been calling our days far from beautiful because they seem so common.

Every day it’s basically the same schedule. Feed them. Teach them. Read to them. Walk with them. Listen to them. Bathe them. Tuck them in.

It’s so common that its lost its glory. It’s easily taken for granted.

Imagine loss to embrace today. Imagine an empty crib. Imagine inconsolable crying. Imagine how life can change in a blink.

Then today will transform from common to extraordinary.

They missed Him. Missed the Savior. He was too common. Too ordinary.

If He comes as common then maybe He’s coming today. Maybe He’s here with me in this messy house…with these loud kids…with distracted me.

Maybe I’m missing Him, because I’m looking too hard. Maybe He’s closer than my next breath.

God, help me not to call an ounce of what You’ve ordained ordinary and miss the grace.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

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(Even the rainy ones…)